HONG KONG, CHINA - Media OutReach - 26 April 2019 -Costa Cruises, Italy's largest tourism group and Europe's number one cruise company celebrated the maiden call of Costa Venezia to Hong Kong on April 24 and invited over 120 guests onboard for a plaque and key ceremony.
Captain Tihomir Muzic was joined by Mr. Mario Zanetti, President of Costa Group Asia, Mr. Aaron Liu, JP, Acting Commissioner for Tourism, Tourism Commission, HKSAR Government, Mr. Anthony Lau, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board, and Clemente Contestabile, Consul General of Italy in Hong Kong for an auspicious lion dance eye-dotting ritual. Together with a lively marching band and ship performers, showcasing highlights from Costa Venezia's original musical production, "Venezia Innamorata", five colourful lions danced to hip hop music and kick started the celebrations. Mr. Liu also signed on a special bottle that brings blessings from each port of the Costa Venezia's Marco Polo Voyage -- from Trieste, the Mediterranean to the Middle East, and subsequently from Southeast Asia to Hong Kong.
(from left to right) Clemente Contestabile, Consul General of Italy in Hong Kong, Mr. Aaron Liu, JP, Acting Commissioner for Tourism, Tourism Commission, HKSAR Government, Captain Tihomir Muzic, Mr. Mario Zanetti, President of Costa Group Asia, Mr. Antony Lau, Executive Director, Hong Kong Tourism Board
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Zanetti said: "As a ship built specifically for the Asian market, Venezia heralds the start of a new chapter for Costa, Fincantieri and also the Asian cruise industry as a whole. From conception to delivery, everything about Costa Venezia has been designed having the Asian customer in mind. Costa Venezia will continue to offer the authentic Italian experience that is a hallmark of Costa, but with further innovations that have never been seen before and which are designed to meet the needs of the local market even better."
Costa Venezia is the largest ship introduced by Costa to Asia, where the Italian company was the first to start operating in 2006.
With a gross tonnage of 135,500 tons, 323 meters in length, 2,116 cabins and a capacity for 5,260 guests, the Costa Venezia offers a series of unprecedented innovations designed specifically for Asian customers, introducing them to Italian culture, lifestyle and excellence, starting from the interiors, which are inspired by the city of Venice.
On Costa Venezia, guests will experience the uniqueness of Venetian and Italian culture. The ship's theatre is inspired by the world-renowned Venetian La Fenice opera house; the main atrium is reminiscent of St. Mark's Square, while the main restaurants recall the traditional architecture of Venetian alleys and squares. Actual gondolas, made by the Squero di San Trovaso artisans, can also be found on board.
Guests are able to sample the delights of fine Italian dining while enjoying home comforts that include a range of Chinese cuisines. The two main restaurants, Marco Polo and Canal Grande, offer a unique immersion in the Venetian atmosphere. Starting from a walk in the Grand Canal and the opportunity to sit close to a real gondola, to admiring the "Ponte dei Sospiri" (Bridge of Sighs) at the Canal Grande Restaurant, and continuing with the unique baroque architecture of the Marco Polo restaurant, where guests are served by 17th century Venetian figured waiters.
At Casanova Restaurant, guests will find a special menu created by the Italian chef Umberto Bombana, chef of the three-star Michelin restaurant 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana, one of the five speciality restaurants. Guests will also feel at home with a wide choice of Asian food on offer, including hotpot, teppanyaki, dim sum and noodles.
Costa Venezia features more than 8,000 square feet of retail space amid a two-deck Venetian-style shopping pavilion which Starboard Cruise Services, the premier retailer at sea, curated with some of the world's most celebrated brands.
Presented within an Italian-style shopping experience in keeping with the iconic Costa Cruises brand, the collection includes many famous Italian brands, including first-time-at-sea Max Mara, Salvatore Ferragamo and Bvlgari.
Costa Venezia further appeals to the Asian shopper with the largest beauty space at sea, measuring more than 2,500 square feet and including over 30 international brands, with the first-at-sea Clé de Peau Beauté and Hermès, Yves Saint Laurent, La Prairie, Bvlgari, Chanel, Dior, La Mer, SK-II and more. Asian beauty brands include Dr. Jart+, Sulwhasoo and The History of Whoo. The Merchant of Venice, a refined perfumer that pays homage to the beauty of Venetian culture, also makes its debut at sea and available for the first time in Asia.
In addition, Bvlgari joins Costa Cruises and Starboard to present the first production of its kind at sea: "The Bvlgari Jewelry Show", an evening of elegance and glamour highlighting the Italian jeweller's masterful craftsmanship. During the show, Costa Venezia's passengers will experience the epitome of "la dolce vita," an Italian dream, presenting a dazzling display of Bvlgari jewels featured onboard at the Bvlgari boutique.
Apart from shopping, guests are entertained by nightly shows and performances, including "Venezia Innamorata", a musical inspired by the love stories of Venetian author and adventurer Giacomo Casanova, specially created for Costa Venezia's Teatro Rosso. Themed parties such as the "Golden Party" and "Carnival of Venice" masked ball recreate the magical atmosphere of "The City of Canals" onboard.
Soccer fans will find Asia's exclusive Juventus Football Club at sea and enjoy a 360-degree Italian football experience with special facilities on Costa Venezia, including an outdoor soccer field, an indoor academy, a museum showcasing historic trophies and memorabilia from as far back as the 1970s, magazine photos from all eras, jerseys and signed shoes from the club's successful seasons, as well as a retail shop selling limited edition commemorative merchandise.
For guests who enjoy the outdoors, the ship has both outdoor and indoor swimming pools and jacuzzis, an aqua park with water slides, a mini-golf course, a high-rope garden, outdoor fitness facilities, a wellness complex with gym and spa, clubs for teens and kids, and many more.
On March 8, the ship embarked from Trieste for the start of its inaugural cruise: an exceptional 53-day trip following the tracks of Marco Polo through the Mediterranean to the Middle East, Southeast Asia and the Far East before docking in Tokyo.
A second ship designed exclusively for the Asian market, a sister ship to Costa Venezia, is currently under construction by Fincantieri in Marghera and is expected to be delivered in 2020. Together with Costa Venezia, the arrival of the second new built will help boost the development of the Asian cruise industry.
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- ^ The luxury line-up also includes Cartier, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Tiffany & Co., Mikimoto, and many more, making it even more irresistible when they can be purchased onboard tax and duty-free. (www.media-outreach.com)
Authors: Costa Group